Agency Response to COVID-19: July 17, 2020


July 17, 2020

To Employees, Parents, Families, Caregivers and Directors of the Board

NEW: The Ontario State of Emergency has been extended to July 29th. The province of Ontario legislature is still in the process of exploring the new Bill “The Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to Covid-19) Act 2020.”

As of July 13th, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) has made the wearing of facial coverings mandatory in public indoor spaces such as stores and public transit. Grey and Bruce Counties has also mandatory masking as of July 17th.

Phase 3 of reopening Ontario is now in place. We must remember that the people we support remain vulnerable and that the pandemic continues. We use caution as we must remain vigilant.

Visits to backyard residences will restart on July 22nd. Visits will be limited to 2 family members for 2 hours. Family members must be screened in with temperature taken. Family members must wear a mask, covering nose, mouth and chin, clean hands and maintain physical distancing (no touching). Visits must be planned with the manager to ensure adequate time between visits. All areas must be cleaned prior and after the visit. The visits take place outside and we must ensure physical distancing from all other house mates and staff. Covid test attestation is no longer required.

MCCSS will be conducted unannounced inspection visits to monitor our approach to Covid-19 and QAM requirements. The inspector will wear a mask and gloves and practice physical distancing from everyone in the house.

Staff can wear a cloth mask, if it is more comfortable, instead of a surgical mask. The cloth mask MUST be worn at all times, cover nose, mouth and chin. The mask is to be worn inside and outside the home, as well as in the vehicles. Surgical masks will be available for those who prefer that style. Should someone be under investigation for Covid-19, then surgical mask will be worn. If there is an outbreak, full PPE will be worn.

Tots’n’Tykes Child Care Centre is under re-development; the team selected comes with complementary skills to address the stringent requirements. The centre will receive a refresh, new procedures to respect the guidelines and potential installation of a new documentation and communication system. Mid to late August is targeted for reopening.

EarlyON continues to deliver program virtually. At this point, the county has not shared guidelines for re-opening or expectations of timing.

Please wash cloth masks daily or even after 4 hours of use. Regular washing machine will remove traces of virus. To prevent bacteria growth, you can also boil your non-medical facial covering for 10 minutes, then hang to dry. Do not go in and out of the homes with masks that have been used elsewhere and not washed.

Town halls will continue to occur Thursdays. We will alternate between 3:15 PM and 7:15 AM.

We want to thank all employees at all levels- Direct Support Professionals in the home and community, the administrative team organizing logistics, managers who are available and children and family services available to parents and caregivers during this challenging period of history.

Individuals we support
• PLEASE INFORM MANAGEMENT SHOULD SOMEONE NOT BE WELL IN THE HOME. This is the normal practice at any other time as individuals will get sick. We need to ensure that they stay healthy.
• Family visits are suspended until further notice
• Practice physical distancing in the homes. Move furniture around to provide distance and stagger mealtimes to avoid close contact.
• Physical distancing should be practiced in vehicles as well. Few individuals should travel together and all surfaces should be cleaned after the drive
• All utensils, bowls should be individualized. No sharing of snack bowls. The dishwasher should be used for all dishes.
• Please record every individual’s temperatures morning and evening. This should be done in daily notes in Sharevision. If the person’s temperature is above the norm, please contact your manager. Normal temperature is 36.5 to 37.2 Celcius.

• PLEASE DO NOT GO TO WORK SICK. Call your manager.
• Surgical masks are to be worn at all times in homes and when out with individuals, such as in cars or even walking. Please use only one mask per shift. Mask MUST be put on upon entrance into the home, after hand washing, at the door. Please do not walk through common areas without a mask on. Please review the PPE videos and ensure you record the viewing and understanding.
• Physical distance from each other in the homes. Move furniture around to provide distance and stagger mealtimes to avoid close contact.
• Physical distancing should be practiced in vehicles as well. Few individuals should travel together and all surfaces should be cleaned after the drive
• Cleaning practices:
o Night and day shift employees should clean together at the beginning and end of shift. This will result in a clean setting for the new staffing group. The process should take you approximately 10 minutes. Use Spray 9 for its anti-virus properties
o Ensure indoor and outdoor doorknobs are cleaned, as well as high touch items like remote controls, light switches
o Ensure that offices are also cleaned o Dishes should be cleaned with appropriate practices and following infection control practices.

Children Services
• Virtual activities with EarlyON are on Facebook and through virtual classroom/support! You can also call the Centre in Collingwood or Alliston. Both sites remain open.
• EarlyON virtual calendar is posted.
• Follow on FB and visit the E3 website for more information.

Basic information
• Please wash hand with soap and water, 20 seconds, using a proven hand washing technique.
• Surfaces should be cleaned twice daily according to protocol.
• Public Health distancing measures will remain in place for the foreseeable future.

Our sources

Practice Good Respiratory Etiquette
• Wash your hands often with soap and water, for 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available;
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth unless you have just washed your hands with soap;
• Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your arm, not your hand;
• If you or a member of your family are sick, stay home. And please, do not visit our programs or residences to limit the chance those in our care from becoming ill.

Your Steering Committee:

Christine Vallis-Page Scott Kelly Peter Doner
Tracy Nancekivell Patricia Green Lori McKean
Heather Grasman Deborah Sauvé (JH&SC) Irene Currie(JH&SC)
Salvina Lutz (JH&SC) Kim Saunders Nancy MacDonald
Cindy Boyce Robin Galati Melanie Cathcart
Shannon Mathieson Rachel Leferink

Visit our website for all the memos under about us > news.

Keep in mind that directions will change rapidly and will require fluidity. These are unusual times and we are thankful for your continued support.


We thank you for your dedicated work and support to some of our most vulnerable Ontarians.

Best regards,

Christine Vallis-Page